My prayer is that all and each one of you may have a Blessed New Year! I think that there’s so much pressure to start the year off by making some grand vow to change a major part of our lives for the better. Many of the things we try to change are great things: lose weight, exercise more, start a business, but unfortunately lots of those resolutions are not accomplished for many reasons.
However, I think ultimately we don’t follow through with those goals because they do not speak directly to our biggest desire or hunger for God. “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” Catechism of the Catholic Church #27
So I want you to make New Year’s resolutions that help you increase your faith and build a better relationship with the Lord. Here are some faith-based resolutions you can choose from. Pick one or two that feel doable and commit to them for 2023:
Make a commitment today to spend more time with the Lord. It will change your life in ways you can’t imagine. Save this article and maybe come back to it every month to remind you of your commitment to the Lord.
Formed: Formed is a wonderful resource available to us here at the parish. It is put together by The Augustine Institute and has an almost endless supply of uplifting and informative Catholic content. Everything from movies to lectures to ebooks to podcasts
To sign up, go to the website, click ‘Subscribe as Parishioner’. For Parish type ‘St Robert Parish Holy Family’. It should show an option with a Shorewood address. Click that and enter your name and email address to finish signing up. No password necessary.
Add another Mass: Go to one extra daily Mass each week. The Lord is waiting for you in the Eucharist. Daily Mass is offered at St Robert on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7AM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:15AM, and Wednesdays at Cor Jesu at 8PM
Go to Confession: Seeking forgiveness for our sins frees us from them and gives us peace we otherwise cannot find. Try going every month for the year. Confessions are offered at St Robert on Saturdays 3:30-4:20PM, Sundays 4:50-5:20PM, and Wednesdays during Cor Jesu from 7-8PM.
Marian devotion: Devotion to our Blessed Mother is a beautiful way to grow in faith and become closer to Christ her Son. She is truly a mother for all of us if we only turn to her for intercession. Two great books to help get you started are “Behold Your Mother” by Tim Staples and “Hail Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God” by Scott Hahn.
Pray the Rosary!
Spiritual reading: Spend more time reading good spiritual books and articles. Learning more about our faith is critical to holding onto it in today’s environment.
Formed has a number of eBooks and audiobooks. Ascension Press is starting Catechism in a Year podcast in January. Watch for monthly book recommendations from Prayer and Worship Committee!
Be a good steward of your gifts: We are all blessed with gifts. God asks us to share those gifts with each other as much as we can. Volunteer your time, give to charities, use your talents to help your Parish and your Archdiocese. Be generous in all you do.
Interested in volunteering at the parish? Help the Prayer and Worship Committee! Email Caroline Klinker at email@example.com
Would you like to bring Communion to our homebound parishioners? Email EMHC@strobert.org
Have musical talents you want to share? Email Mary Grace to learn about joining the choir at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in teaching to faith? Email Kevin to learn about becoming a catechist at email@example.com
Interested in helping form our youth? Email Caitlin about assisting the Youth Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out these other organizations for ways to contribute your gifts
Learn more about the saints: The saints of the Church are our greatest examples of how to live a holy life and get to heaven. Their stories are fascinating, and they’re more like us than you might imagine. Pick a specific saint to start a devotion to or learn more about multiple saints.
Start a holy hour: Can you give the Lord one hour a week or daily? You won’t regret it. He’s waiting for you even now. Spend time with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.
Go on a retreat or pilgrimage: The idea here is to do something new. You can find retreats available. Or take a local or regional pilgrimage to a Marian shrine or church you’ve been wanting to visit.
Join a Bible study group: Learn and understand more about your faith and make new friends at the same time. This is a great way to meet others in your parish and feel more like a community. Stay tuned with the bulletin and e-newsletter for Saint Robert small groups that will be starting next month at the beginning of Lent.
Set aside time for prayer each day: Regular prayer is critical to our spiritual growth. Setting aside even five minutes a day will make a noticeable difference in deepening your relationship with the Lord and it would help in how you treat people throughout your day. Don’t forget to spend a few minutes in silence just listening to the Lord. If you need some help getting started, try using a book that offers daily meditations such as the In Conversation with God series by Francis Fernandez Carvajal or an app like Hallow (linked further down the page). For a more structured prayer routine, maybe experiment with part of the Liturgy of the Hours. Word on Fire has a new offering to make it accessible to new people, or if you're ambitious you can try the Divine Office app.
Fast: If you are able, fasting is a great penance to add all year long rather than just during Lent. Try fasting on Fridays, or abstain from meat every Friday of the year. Don't forget to offer up your penance in prayer for someone else to make it extra powerful.
Change what you hear and see: Much of what comes out of the entertainment world and the media today is not helpful for spiritual life. Clean up what you allow in your home, devices or car. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate anything you wouldn’t watch or listen to in front of your mother or grandmother or priest!
Relevant Radio 100.1FM
FORMED (linked above) has lots of great movies, shows, audiobooks, and other similar things.
Check out the Hallow App below for great podcasts like: Fr. Mike Schmitz, Bible in a Year, Poco a Poco, Catholic Saints (Augustine Institute), Word on Fire (Bishop Barron). Some of these require a paid subscription to Hallow, but are available for free on other podcast apps.
Other: Write your own commitment of how you want to work on your relationship with God.